Should you visit Arica or Paracas?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Arica and Paracas. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
A mixture of coastline, desert and high Andean plateau, Arica is a seaside resort town, known for its surfing beaches located at the tip of Northern Chile. Arica boasts that it is "the land of the eternal spring," but its temperate climate and beaches are not the only reason to visit this small city. Arica's tourism is still principally geared toward domestic visitors and those from southern Peru and La Paz, who flock to its beaches mid-December through February. It is very easy to spend a few days in Arica in the sand, or seeing the sights in town, at a slow pace but the city also offers plenty of fun activities and exciting day trips.
Paracas, also known as El Chaco, is a resort town on the Southern coast of the country, about 150 miles south of Lima. The town in located in one of the oldest regions of Peru, with a history dating back to 900 BC and offers many pre-Inca cultural sites throughout the area. Paracas is possibly best known for being home to the Paracas National Reserve, a nature reserve boasting one of the most abundant and diverse ecosystems in the world.
Which city is cheaper, Paracas or Arica?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Arica is $74, while the average daily cost in Paracas is $48. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Arica and Paracas in more detail.
For a normal double-occupancy room in Arica, $66 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Arica, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $33, such as in a hostel.
Paracas's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $34. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $17.
Food in Arica costs travelers about $26 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
Paracas food costs typically run travelers around $18 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paracas
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Paracas.
Dinner on Paracas Desert:
To get around in Arica, the average visitor spends $17 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
The average price of local transportation around Paracas is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Arica
Some typical examples of transportation costs in Arica are as follows:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Arica
Also for Arica, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Arica Airport Private Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Paracas
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Paracas:
Transfer Paracas -Lima:
Private transfer from Paracas to Lima Airport (price per vehicle):
Private transfer from Paracas to Lima (price per vehicle):
Private Transfer from Paracas to Ica:
Private Bus Station transfer in Paracas:
Is it cheaper to fly into Arica or Paracas?
Prices for flights to both Paracas and Arica change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.
In Arica, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Paracas's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $19 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.
Tours and Activities in Arica
For Arica, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Half day Panoramic City Tour:
Arica Sightseeing Tour:
Full Day Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Arica Private Sightseeing Tour:
Archeological Sightseeing tour in Arica:
Private Tour to Tacna from Arica:
Arica Private City Tour:
Private Arica and Ancient Cultures Tour:
4-Days Unique Experience at the Chilean High Plateau:
Tours and Activities in Paracas
Here are a few actual costs in Paracas for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
ATV Tour in Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Group Tour from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Private Group Tour:
Ballestas Islands Sightseeing Boat Ride from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands Sigthseeing Tour:
Ballestas Islands and Chandelier tour from Paracas:
Ballestas Islands and Paracas National Park from the Cruise pier San Martin:
Ballestas Islands for cruise ship passenger - Paracas Harbour:
Buggy & Sandboard Adventure in Paracas:
Desert Adventure: Luxury Picnic, Off-Road & Sandboarding:
From 2-Hour Private Ballestas Islands Tour:
From Ica Vineyard Private Tour Including Lunch and Tasting:
Typically, people visiting Arica spend on average $18 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Paracas may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.51 per day on alcoholic beverages.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arica and Paracas, we can see that Arica is more expensive. And not only is Paracas much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Paracas would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Paracas and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arica would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arica than you might in Paracas.
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